by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Elk River baseball has not produced a winning season since 2004, but maybe the current edition can do something about that.
“We’re two-and-oh, and we’ve beaten two ranked teams,” noted coach Ryan Holmgren, after the Elks outlasted Robbinsdale Armstrong 7-5 at home on on a windy, 45-degree Monday.
The Elks won 2-1 at Coon Rapids on Thursday. Pre-season rankings posted on Minnesota Baseball Hub had Coon Rapids at No. 2 and Armstrong No. 9.
In seven straight losing seasons by the Elks, the low point was a 1-21 season just two years ago. Last year, the Elks improved to 7-13, and several starters are back. At least, the first week hints at more progress. The Elks will try keep it going Wednesday at Anoka and Thursday at home against Park Center.
Brandon Meyers got the win, with stellar relief from Brady Givens, against Armstrong.
Key hits were two-run singles by Tim Sanford in the first inning and by Corey Collins in the third inning. Collins had two of the Elks’ six hits.
Sam Krick delivered an RBI double. The Elks also scored bases-loaded runs when Givens was hit-by-pitch in the first and Tucker Morrell walked in the third. Nicholas Snyder, first of three Falcon pitchers, took the loss.
The Twins led 7-2 before Meyers gave up two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. He gave up five runs (three earned) and five hits, striking out five and walking just one, in five-plus frames.
Givens, the regular second-baseman, took over on the mound. Catcher Porter Morrell threw out a runner, and Meyer proceeded to retire all five batters he faced, three by strikeout.
The Elks made four errors and Armstrong three. The Elks did get one double play, started by Collins at shortstop.
“Four errors in concerning, but, conditions were not very good, either,” said Holmgren. “Players get a little tight when it’s cold.”
Holmgren feels he has three capable starters and three other guys for relief. Terry Hadden gets the next start, at Anoka.